History of Auglaize County
At the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, the southern boundary of the Indian territory was fixed, leaving the largest part of northern Ohio in the possession of the northwestern tribes, the Wyandots, Shawnees, Senecas, Ottawas, etc. At a treaty at the Maumee Rapids, in 1817, held by Lewis Cass and Duncan McArthur, commissioners on the part of the United States, there were granted to each of the Ohio tribes certain reservations, which have since been purchased by the United States, and the various tribes have removed west of the Mississippi. In 1820, this territory was divided into counties, by an act passed by the Ohio Legislature. It provided: That all that part of the lands lately ceded by the Indians to the United States shall be, and the same is hereby, erected into fourteen separate and distinct counties, to be bounded and named as follows, viz.: First to include townships one, two, and three south, in the first, second, third, and fourth ranges, and to be known by the name of Van Wert; second, to include all of said ranges south of said townships, to the northern boundaries of the counties heretofore organized, and to be known by the name of Mercer; third, to include townships one and two south, and one and two north, in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth ranges, and to be known by the name of Putnam; fourth, to include all of the northern boundaries of the organized counties, and to be known by the name of Allen; fifth, to include townships one and two north, in the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth ranges, and to be known by the name of Hancock; sixth to include all the last-mentioned ranges, south of said second township, and running south with the range lines to the northern boundaries of the organized counties, and to be known by the name of Hardin.
The remaining counties named in the act were Crawford, Marion, Seneca, Sandusky, Wood, Henry, Paulding, and Williams. Section 2d provided that the county of Hardin "shall be attached to the county of Logan."
Auglaize* County comprises a territory which is full of historic interest. The Auglaize and St. Marys Rivers were during the campaigns of Harmar and Wayne in 1790 and 1794, and that of Gen. Harrison in 1812 and 1813, the scenes of very stirring events.
The French, pursuing their old and energetic policy of occupation and trade, found their way up the "Miami of the Lake" (Maumee), the St. Marys, the Auglaize, and down the Loramie to the Big Miami, at a very early day. In 1673 Marquette, having worked his way up to Mackinaw, embarked with one Joliet and five "voyageurs" in two birch canoes, for an exploration of the Great Mississippi, or, as the Indians call it, "Missippi." They passed up Fox River, crossed over by a tedious portage with their canoes, to the Wisconsin, and on the 17th of June, 1663, entered the Mississippi, went down that river to the Arkansas, and becoming satisfied that it really entered into the Gulf of Mexico (which was previously uncertain), they returned, passed up the Illinois River, and so up to the Lake. Soon after this, doubtless, followed the exploration and settlement of these smaller streams, the Miami of the Lake, the St. Marys, and the Auglaize.
It is certain that they occupied here previous to 1756, which was the commencement of the old French War. That war ended in 1763, with the cession of all the French possessions to the English. Immediately upon this cession, the French withdrew, leaving the traces of their occupation in the old cellars which still remain, and could be plainly seen forty years ago in a number of places along the high banks of the St. Marys River. The navigation of these waters, the St. Marys, the Auglaize, the Loramie, and Miami, at that early day, is very interesting. Goods for the Indian trade were taken up the Maumee and the St. Marys to the head of navigation, which is now St. Marys; there they were carried across what was called the "portage" to the Loramie, at old Fort Loramie. The goods were reshipped at that point, which was called "Loramie Store," thence down the Loramie, which was called "the Western Branch of the Big Miami." This store was so named from a Frenchman, Loramie, who established it as a trading post, and it gave his name to the river which flows along its southern side. This navigation was thought to be so valuable, that, in Wayne's Treaty with the Indians in 1795, it was stipulated, among other things, "that the Indians will allow the people of the United States a free passage by land and water (as one or the other shall be found convenient) through their country, along the chain of posts; that is to say, from the commencement of the portage aforesaid at or near Loramie's store, thence along said portage to the St. Marys, and down the same to Ft. Wayne, and thence down the Maumee to Lake Erie. Again from the commencement of the portage at or near Loramie's store along the portage, thence to the river Auglaize, and down the same to its junction with the Miami."
This is cited to show the well-known existence and value of this navigation and portage before the Indian wars, and we may well suppose for many previous years.
Gen. George Rogers Clark, having, in 1782, raised a force of one thousand mounted men to chastise the Indians for their murderous assaults upon the settlers at the Blue Licks, marched rapidly up the Big Miami, and so on up the Loramie to the southern end of this portage to "Loramie's store," on "the western branch of the Miami," as it was called, and there destined all the stores and provisions.
In speaking of this expedition, Gen. Clarke says: "The Trading Post at head of the Miami carrying place to the waters of the Lake shared the same fate as the Shawnee towns about Piqua, which he had just destined at the hands of a party of one hundred and fifty horsemen, commanded by Col. Benjamin Logan. The property destroyed was of great amount, and the quantity of provisions burned surpassed all idea we had of Indian stores." It is, therefore, clear that the St. Marys River was navigated at a very early day, and that there were trading posts all along its banks, originally established by the French, and after the old French war occupied, to some extent, by the English traders. This expedition, so sudden and so damaging to the Shawnees, checked them for a time, but only for a short time; and eight years afterward, in 1790, Gen. Harmar was sent out with a force of fourteen hundred men to punish and awe them; and, as a great ultimate object, to get possession of the junction of the St. Joseph and St. Marys, now known as Ft. Wayne. Gen. Harmar started out from Ft. Washington, now Cincinnati, with a miscellaneous force of raw recruits—militia men, volunteers, and a few regulars—without discipline or subordination; the officers under him struggling for the precedence, and the men—the rank and file—taking an open and active part in this unworthy and unpatriotic strife for the leadership. Gen. Harraar marched straight up the Big Miami—on up to Loramie's store, which Gen. Clark had destroyed eight years before—then straight across the portage to the head waters of the St. Marys, then known as Girty's Town—thence down to the crossing of the St. Marys River, now known as Shane's Crossing—thence across the river, and down on the north side to the junction of the St. Joe and St. Marys Rivers, now known as Ft. Wayne, where he was defeated.
Speaking of the line of march of Gen. Wayne's army from Ft. Wayne to Greenville, Isaac Paxton, who was there, says: "They followed Gen. Harmar's old trace up the St. Marys River. On the third day they encamped on the southwest bank of the St. Marys River. This is Shane's Crossing, and on the next day, Oct. 31, 1794, they took up their line of march at sunrise, and marched all day in a heavy rain until three hours after dark, when they encamped at Girty's Town on the St. Marys River" (which is the present St. Marys).
This shows in connection with Gen. Wayne's dispatches that Gen. Harmar cut the road to Ft. Wayne in 1790.
This defeat of Gen. Harmar, on the 19th of October, 1790, emboldened the Indians, and they became so troublesome and savage, and the alarm of the settlers all along the borders of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky became so great, that the General Government found it necessary, in 1791, a year afterward, to send out a new army. This army was placed under the command of Gen. St. Clair, then territorial governor and major-general, and, as a part of the history of the time, it may not be amiss to speak of this distinguished man, whose talents, courage, and sacrifices during the Revolutionary struggle, and subsequent misfortunes, are strangely blended. It is the more necessary to do this, in order to do justice to the first territorial governor of the territory northwest of the Ohio, and against whom there has existed the strongest prejudice, arising from his misfortune in losing the battle at Fort Recovery. Gen. Arthur St. Clair was by birth a Scotchman who came over and fought under the English flag in the old French war, which commenced in 1756. He distinguished himself at the famous attack upon Quebec, where Wolf lost his life, and that strong citadel fell into the hands of the English. After the peace he went down into Pennsylvania, and settled in the Ligonier Valley, in the new county of Westmoreland, and became the first prothonotary or clerk of the county. Here he resided until the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, when, espousing warmly the side of the colonies, and having seen distinguished service, he was made a colonel, and, raising a regiment of seven hundred and fifty men, joined the Pennsylvania Continental line in that war, and enjoyed the confidence of Washington and Congress. After the war of the Revolution had ceased, by the Treaty of 1783, he returned to his old residence, and was by his people elected to the Continental Congress, and was made president of that distinguished body in 1786; while occupying that position he was appointed by Washington governor of the new territory northwest of the Ohio. There is no doubt that he was disposed to strong measures, and exercised his power in a manner which, while honestly intended, was very offensive to many of the leading men in Southern Ohio, who came from Virginia, and were Jeffersonian Democrats. He was a Federalist and a Scotchman. But he was a man of sterling integrity, incorruptible, and fearless in the discharge of what he considered his duty.
In a letter to Governor Giles of Virginia, he said that he had become almost impoverished by the war, and had been urged by his friends to accept the governorship, because it would enable him by speculation in western lands to repair his broken fortunes, and provide for his numerous family, but that he had no skill and talent for speculation, and moreover "he did not regard it as consistent with the duties of his office."
Many years afterward, Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, in riding over the Alleghany Mountains on his way to take his seat in Congress, came upon this veteran, now old and poor, keeping a tavern upon the summit of the mountain.
He returned at last to the Ligonier Valley, where he lived several years in the most abject poverty. At length Pennsylvania settled on him an annuity of three hundred dollars, which was soon after raised to six hundred, which gave to the gallant old soldier a comfortable subsistence for the little remnant of his days. He died on the 31st of August, 1818, a venerable officer of the Revolution, after a long and useful life.†
Such was the man upon whom was laid the responsibility of subduing the allied Indians, rendered insolent and confident by their defeat of Harmar the previous year. He was exhorted to levy his troops and be urgent. There was no money to pay the troops, or to provide supplies for them. Everything went on slowly and badly; tents, pack-saddles, kettles, knapsacks, and cartridge boxes, all were deficient in quantity. For instance, of 1675 stand of arms designed for the use of the militia, scarcely any were in order, and with two traveling forges furnished, there were no anvils.
No time had been or could be allowed for drill or practice, but the troops met on the 17th of September, 1791, and moved forward. On the 24th of October the tedious march through the wilderness began. The General (St. Clair) was sick, the provisions scarce, roads heavy, making only seven miles a day, and the militia deserting, sometimes sixty a day. When the army reached the Wabash (now Recovery) it numbered only 1400 men. Such was the army of St. Clair, to be opposed to a force of 1200 or 1500 Indians, flushed with success, and at home in the forest.
In both these campaigns the strength, prowess, and skill of the Indians seem to have been underrated. We do not think it necessary to go into a detail of the operations of the field, or to discuss the reasons or causes of this great reverse to our armies. It appears reasonably certain, now, that in addition to the causes of which we have already written, may be added the unfortunate alienation between Gen. St. Clair and Gen. Butler, who was second in command, and who perished in the beginning of the action. Gen. Butler had information of the near presence of the Indians, but he either refused or neglected to advise St. Clair of it. It is very certain that Gen. St. Clair had no accurate information as to the country, the streams, or the presence and force of his enemy. He seems not to have had any time or scouts for making himself acquainted with the work before him. He supposed that he was on the head waters of the St. Marys River.
We shall see hereafter the immense advantage which Gen. Wayne gained on his campaign by his deliberate preparation and full information at every step. But however this may be, Congress exonerated St. Clair from all blame. Our men fought well, and were, probabty, the victims of circumstances. The slaughter was dreadful; of 1400, 890 were slain; of 86 officers, 16 were killed. The rout and consternation were so complete that the men threw away their arms and ran all the way to Fort Jefferson, although the Indians pursued them only about four miles. The tempting plunder of the camp overcame the bloodthirstiness of the savages, and they hurried back to the field of battle to collect and divide it. John Brickell, whose narrative of captivity among the Delaware Indians from May, 1781, to January, 1795, I have now before me, pictures in a very natural and striking light the effect upon them. He says:
"There was a great stir in the town (on the Auglaize) about an army of white men coming to fight the Indians. The squaws and boys were moved, with the goods, down the Maumee, and there awaited the result of the battle, while the men went to war. They met St. Clair and came off victorious, loaded with the spoils of the enemy. Big Cat left the spoils at the town and came down to move us up. We then found ourselves a rich people. His share of the spoils were two fine horses, four tents, one of which was a noble 'marquee,' which made us a fine house, and in which we lived the remainder of my captivity. He had also clothing in abundance and of all descriptions. I wore a soldier's coat. He had also axes, guns, and everything to make an Indian rich."
These Indians numbered probably 1000 warriors, and were led, not by Little Turtle, the chief of the Ottawas, as was generally supposed, but by the famous Mohawk chief, Brant, who had 150 Mohawk braves with him.
Of the warriors engaged in this battle, the Delawares furnished 400, the Shawnees (who afterward lived at the Wapakoneta Reservation) furnished about 300; the Miamis, who lived about Fort Wayne, 100; the Wyandots, 150; the residue being from the Pottawatomies and Ottawas.
The leaders and principal warriors of the Shawnees were Blue Jacket and Captain Johnny, and the Shawnees were the tribe "whose voice was always still for war."
Simon Girty, whose very name was a terror to the early settlers, was a very savage man. He had four sons: Thomas, Simon, George, and James. Their father was a native of Ireland; emigrated and settled in Western Pennsylvania in 1740. His wife and four sons removed to the extreme frontier in 1745. They were taken by the Indians. James fell into the hands of the Shawnees, who occupied all our region of country, and who adopted him as a son. George was adopted by the Delawares, and Simon by the Senecas. Simon was the most conspicuous in his day, and was a leading and influential chief among the allied Indians, and ever present and took an active part in all their councils and deliberations.
James Girty, who was adopted by the Shawnees, was no doubt the Girty who had his residence at the head waters of the St. Marys River, and who gave his name to the old Indian town. We have no means of knowing the date of the establishment of his residence at St. Marys; but in 1794 Gen. Wayne, in his dispatches, spoke of "the place called Girty's town on Harmar's route," which identifies it. In the Treaty of 1795 it is mentioned as "near Girty's town on the head waters of the St. Marys." We all know that the head waters of the St. Marys are where old Fort Barbee stood, just below where the three streams—the east, middle, and west branches—enter and form that river. This James Girty was the worst renegade of them all. I copy the following sketch of him from the "Western Annals," to which I am indebted for much information: "As he approached manhood, he became dexterous in all the savage life. To the most sanguinary spirit he added all the vices of the depraved frontiersmen, with whom he frequently associated. It is represented that he often visited Kentucky at the time of its first settlement, and many of the inhabitants felt the effects of his cruelty. Neither age nor sex found mercy at his hands. His delight was in carnage. Traders who were acquainted with him say, so furious was he that he would not have turned on his heel to save a prisoner from the flames. His pleasure was to see new and refined tortures inflicted, and, to perfect his gratification, he frequently gave directions."
What finally became of him is not known, and is of little consequence to know, only so that we know he is dead.
We have spoken of James Girty as being the Girty who lived at the head waters of the St. Marys, and gave his name to the old Indian town here. It has been supposed by many that it was Simon who lived here. Simon Girty was taken prisoner with his brothers, James, George, and Thomas, but was afterwards ransomed and returned to Pennsylvania. He enlisted with the English army at Pittsburgh—deserted with Elliott and McKee (those Indian traders who afterwards, in the Indian wars and the war of 1812, made our people so much trouble). They all had their quarters upon the Maumee, and Simon lived upon an island in the Maumee River. He had been adopted by the Delawares originally, but lived some part of his life with the Wyandots.
He led the attack on Dunlap's Station in 1791, and was engaged in the war of 1812. Fought with Tecumseh at the battle of the Thames, and for a long time was supposed to have fallen there, but many years after, a resident of Ohio, being in Canada, happened to stop at a public house which was kept by a son-in-law of Girty's. The landlady (daughter of Simon) hearing that he was from Ohio, inquired whether he had ever heard of Simon Girty, and being answered that he had, told him that she was his daughter, and introduced him, or rather pointed out to him her father—the veritable Simon—now old, infirm and blind. He lived to a great age.
From this digression we resume. St. Clair had been defeated, and had rapidly retreated with his whole force to Fort Washington. The whole frontier was exposed. The Government found it necessaiy to organize a new army with more care. Distinguished names were spoken of to command it—Gen Morgan, Gen Wayne, Col. Drake, and Gen. Lee—"Light Horse Harry" as he was called (and a great favorite of Washington's); but Washington had determined upon Wayne, and the result proved his wisdom. That name is now so nearly identified with our whole country and with everything among us—towns, streets, wards—that it may be interesting to speak of him. Gen. Anthony Wayne was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and was a major general in the revolutionary war—ranking high. Washington had a trial of his courage, address, and skill at the taking of Stony Point—the most desperate and brilliant success of the revolutionary war, according to opinions of military men of that war. In this service he seems to have been truly "the right man in the right place." In June, 1792, he moved forward to Pittsburgh, and proceeded at once to organize his army. Washington said to him: "Train and discipline them for the service they are meant for, and do not spare powder and lead, so the men be made marksmen." In December, 1792, the forces were put into camp twenty miles below Pittsburgh, west side of the Ohio, called since "Legionville," after his army, which was ordered to be called "The Legion." Here they were thoroughly drilled.
Gen. Wayne moved out northward. This march of Wayne has been much discussed, and many opinions have been offered as to his route. This has arisen, I think, from the studied concealment by Wayne of his route. He says in one of his dispatches that he cut one road toward the Miami Town (now Ft. Wayne), one toward the foot of the rapids near Maumee, in order to mislead and deceive them, intending to take neither, but to take a route between the two. When he marched he cut his road as he went day by day, so that he came by a way that they were not looking for him, and had it not been for the capture of one of the deputy quartermasters by the enemy while the Legion was holding Fort Adams, who gave information of the strength of the forces, the surprise would have been complete. I have by me a daily journal of Wayne's march from Greenville down to the Maumee, of the battle, the building of Fort Adams, Fort Defiance, Fort Wayne, and his return march to Greenville on Nov. 2, 1794.
This journal was kept by Lieutenant Boyer. The accuracy of it is vouched for by George Hill, who joined Wayne's army at Pittsburg in August, 1792, and coutinued therein until discharged in Detroit in April, 1798. In this journal the march is plainly shown, day by day. We here insert so much of it as refers to the matter in point:—
"Fort Greenville.—Where we were employed in erecting huts, and remained until July 28, 1794.
"Camp at Stillwater, 28th July, 1794.—Agreeable to the general order of yesterday, the Legion took up their line of march at eight, and encamped at half-past three on the bank of Stillwater, twelve miles from Greenville. The weather extremely warm—water bad. Nothing occurred worth noticing.
"Camp one mile in advance of Fort Recovery, 29th July, 1794.—At five o'clock left the camp, arrived on the ground at one o'clock, being fifteen miles. Nothing took place worth reciting.
"Camp Beaver Swamp, eleven miles in advance of Fort Recovery, 30th July, 1794.—This morning the Legion took up the line of march, and arrived here at three o'clock. The road was to cut, as will be the case, on every new route we take in this country. The weather still warm. No water except in ponds, which nothing but excessive thirst would induce us to drink. The mosquitos are very troublesome, and larger than I ever saw. The most of this country is covered with beech, the land of a wet soil, intermixed with rich tracts, but no running water to be found. A bridge to be built over this swamp to-morrow, which prevents the march of the Legion till the day after. We are informed there is no water for twelve miles.
"July 31, 1794.—Commenced building the bridge, being seventy yards in length, which will require infinite labor. It will be five feet deep with loose mud and water. One hundred pioneers set out this morning, strongly escorted, to cut a road to the St. Marys River, twelve miles. 1 expect the bridge will be completed so as to march early in the morning.
"Camp, St. Marys River, 1 August, 1794.—Proceeded on our way before sunrise, and arrived at this place at three o'clock, being twelve miles. Our encampment is on the largest and most beautiful prairie I ever beheld. The land rich and well timbered; the water plenty but very bad. The river is from forty-five to fifty yards wide, in which I bathed. I am told there is plenty of fish in it.
"August 2, 1794.—The Legion detained here for the purpose of erecting a garrison, which will take up three days. This day one of the deputy quartermasters was taken up by the Indians. Our spies discovered where four of the enemy had retreated precipitately with a horse, and supposed to be the party the above person had been taken by. It is hoped he will not give accurate information of our strength.
"August 3.—An accident took place this day by a tree falling on the commander-in-chief, and nearly putting an end to his existence. We expect to be detained here some time in consequence of it, but fortunately he is not so much hurt as to prevent him from riding at a slow pace. No appearance of the enemy to-day, and think they are preparing for a warm attack. The weather very hot and dry without any appearance of rain.
"Camp thirty-one miles in advance of Fort Recovery, 4th August.—The aforesaid garrison being completed, Lieut. Underhill with one hundred men left to protect it; departed at six o'clock, and arrived here at three, being ten miles. The land we marched through is rich and well timbered, but the water scarce and bad—obliged to dig holes in boggy places and let it settle.
"Camp forty-four miles in advance of Fort Recovery, 5th August.—We arrived at this place at four o'clock, nothing particular occurring. The land and water as above described.
"Camp fifty-six miles from Fort Recovery, 6th August, 1794.—Encamped on the ground at two o'clock. In the course of our march perceived the tracks of twenty. I am informed we are within six miles of one of their towns on the Auglaize River. Supposed to be the upper Delaware Town. If so, I expect to eat green corn to-morrow. Our march this day has been through an exceedingly fine country, but the water still bad. The weather cooler than heretofore.
"Camp sixty-eight miles from Fort Recovery, 7th August, 1794.—This day passed the upper town on the Auglaize, which the Indians evacuated some time ago. I expect to see one of these new towns where, I am told, there are all sorts of vegetables, which will be very acceptable to the troops. We have had no appearance of Indians to-day.
"Camp Grand Auglaize, 8 August, 1794.—Proceeded on our march to this place at 5 o'clock this morning and arrived here at the confluence of the Miami and Auglaize Rivers at half-past 10, being 77 miles from Fort Recovery. This place far excels in beauty any in the western country, and believed equalled by none in the Atlantic States. Here are vegetables of every kind, in abundance, and we have marched four or five miles in cornfields down the Auglaize, and there is not less than one thousand acres of corn round the town. The land in general is of the fair nature. The country appears well adapted to the employment of industrious people, who cannot avoid living in as great luxury as in any other place throughout the States. Nature having lent a most bountiful hand in the arrangement of the position that a man can send the produce to market in his own boat. The land level and river navigable not more than sixty miles from the lake."
This is as much of the journal as it is necessary to cite, to show the route of Wayne marching from Fort Greenville to Fort Defiance. I shall now quote so much of it as shows the route of Wayne after the great battle and after the erection of the fort at Fort Wayne.
"Camp Miami villages (Fort Wayne), 27th October, 1794. —Agreeable to general orders of this day, we will march for Greenville to-morrow morning at 8 o'clock.
"Camp nine miles from Fort Wayne, 28th October, 1794.—The legion took up the line of march at 9 o'clock and arrived here without anything particular occurring.
"Camp 21 miles from Fort Wayne, 29th October, 1794.—The troops proceeded on their march at sunrise and arrived on this ground at half-past three. Our way was through rich and well-timbered land. Weather cold and much like rain.
"Camp southwest side of St. Marys River, 30th October, 1794.—The legion proceeded on their march at 7 o'clock and arrived here at sunset. Continual heavy rain all day.
"Camp Girty's Town (St. Marys), 31st October.—The troops took up their line of march at sunrise and arrived there three hours after night, through heavy rain.
"Greenville, 2d November, 1794.—This evening the legion arrived here, where they marched from on 28th July, 1794. We were saluted with twenty-four rounds from a six-pounder. Our absence from this ground amounted to three months and six days, and so ends the expedition of General Wayne's campaign."
To any one who travelled through and knew this country forty years ago, this journal is so natural, so lifelike, and so true to the real conditions of the route, waters, and soil, that it carries the evidence of truthfulness upon its very face. First, the accuracy of the description of the country from Recovery to Big Beaver, the bridging of Beaver about four miles below Celina. This bridge has been well known to early settlers, and some few of the logs along the north of the creek are still to be seen, where they have been preserved by the water. The description of Shanes' Prairie is perfect. The fort was built in section 24, Dublin township, on the land now owned by Joseph Palmer, about one-half mile up the run from the Mercer and Van Wert road. The site is all overgrown now, but the traces are still to be seen. It was called Fort Adams, in honor of the Vice-President, and is a locality now, and always, known by that name. An axe bearing the stamp "U. S.," almost eaten up with rust, was found by Jared Kelsey while fishing in the river. It had been used evidently in cutting timber for this stockade and dropped there. Precisely where the Legion struck the Auglaize River cannot be ascertained. It appears from the journal that they marched twenty-three miles from Fort Adams through a flat and waterless country, which we suppose to be Van Wert and perhaps the S. E. corner of Paulding. At the end of about twenty-one miles from Fort Adams they were within six miles of one of their towns on the Auglaize, supposed to be the upper Delaware Town, but the country was "exceedingly fine." This was probably the lands near the Auglaize, commencing about thirty-three miles this side of Defiance, which must have been near where Fort Jennings stood. It will also be seen that Gen. Wayne marched back over "Harmar's road," the present Fort Wayne road. The camp on the southwest side of the St. Marys River is Shanes' Crossings. The camp at Girty's Town is St. Marys. The march thence to Greenville was rapid, only occupying two days, and by what route is now wholly uncertain. It is probable that he followed up Harmar's road to Loramie, and thence by one of his own roads, which he states he cut toward the foot of the rapids to Greenville.
It has been asked, why are there no traces of Wayne's march through the forests? We answer, his roads were cut as they marched, and we suppose only so much of the timber taken out as would let his wagons pass. They were not intended as permanent military roads.
We have spoken of Wayne's march out, and his return to Greenville. It was all in every way characteristic of him. He knew what kind of an enemy he had to encounter, and how to do it. They had shown in the two battles at Fort Recovery, courage, secrecy, and skill. He fought them with their own weapons, hence they called him "the black snake," alluding to slipping through the wilderness without giving any notice or alarm; they called him "Mad Anthony," because, after he commenced his march, he would listen to no delays, and drove like a madman through everything, straight to their headquarters; and they called him "the Wind," because he came unseen, and "they heard the sound thereof, but could uot tell whence he cometh or whither he goeth." He marched very rapidly back to Greenville, to avoid surprise, and to still keep up in the minds of the Indians their awful impression of his swift and irresistible character.
He waited at Greenville for the Indians to make peace. "Little Turtle" and the warlike Shawnees came in slowly. The Shawnees had more to lose than any of the tribes. They had occupied all southern Ohio—the Scioto, the Great Miami, and Mad River—beautiful land, and had been driven back, and were likely to lose what remained to them. The treaty was made and the famous "Greenville Treaty line" was established, and in all this was shown Wayne's sagacity. By that treaty he secured by cession of the Indians certain "pieces of land; among many others, are one six miles square at or near Loramie's store, one piece two miles square at the head of the navigable water or landing on the St. Marys River, near Girty's Town (St. Marys), one piece six miles square at the head of the navigable waters of the Auglaize River, one piece at the confluence of the Auglaize and Miami, six miles square (Defiance), one piece where Fort Wayne now stands, six miles square." These were called "posts." He had already built a fort at Wayne, one at Defiance, one at the St. Marys, Fort Adams, and one at Recovery. The fort at St. Marys was built afterwards, as was also the one at Loramie. Upon these "pieces of land" which he had caused them to cede to the United States, the Indian title to all the lands south of the Greenville Treaty line was thus forever extinguished. Slowly and unwillingly "Little Turtle" and "Blue Jacket," of the Shawnees, came in, but to his infinite honor, it must be said of Little Turtle, that to the last hour of his life he proved faithful to our cause, and to the treaty stipulations.
It may not be an unpleasant digression to speak of "Little Turtle." He was the master spirit of the allied or confederate Indians. The capital or headquarters was "the Miami Towns," now Fort Wayne. He commanded at that place in 1790, when he defeated Harmar. He commanded at the assault upon Fort Recovery, in 1794. At the negotiations which led to the Treaty at Greenville, he had the double task of controlling the confederate chiefs and matching Gen. Wayne. He finally submitted to the surrender of the Miami Towns (Fort Wayne) to the United States. This was his home. From that hour, he never lifted the tomahawk against us—was a reliable friend during the war of 1812. The government erected buildings for him on the Miami Lands west of Wayne, and when our cavalry were sent out to destroy the Towns there, they were directed to carefully respect the home of Little Turtle. He died at Fort Wayne after the close of those Indian wars, and was buried with the honors of war on the battle-field where he had met and defeated Gen. Harmar.
Col. John Johnston of Piqua (for so many years Indian Agent) says, that "he was half Mohican and half Miami—that he was the gentleman of his race." "He last appeared in the treaty of Fort Wayne, in 1793. His successor was Richardville, who was known to us." He was head chief of the Miamis from the death of Little Turtle until his death in 1841.
Gen. Wayne owed much of his success to the extraordinary courage, skill, and faithfulness of the remarkable force of scouts and spies which he had organized. Among them were famous names. McLean, Capt. Wells, Henry Miller; but chief of these was Capt. Wells, who had been taken prisoner by the Indians when young, had been among them—had married the sister of Little Turtle, and was accounted by them the bravest of them. He was present at the defeat of Harmar, of St. Clair, and afterward, under an impulse to stand with his own people, he left the Miamis and joined Gen. Wayne's army. He commanded at Fort Wayne during the war of 1812, and fell in a desperate encounter with 500 Pottawatomies, in that war, in marching with a small force of whites and his favorite Miamis to the relief of Fort Dearborn (Chicago).
In the local history, nothing occurred until the war of 1812. These "Posts," as they were called—Recovery, Loramie, St. Marys and Adams—were kept up until about 1817, when "the Treaty at the Fort of the Rapids" was agreed upon. In the war of 1812, St. Marys had a conspicuous part. Gen. Harrison, in September, 1812, had his headquarters here for some time. This was one of the points at which he was to collect troops for an advance to Detroit and Maiden. The base line of his operations was one drawn from Upper Sandusky along the "southerly side of the swampy district of St. Marys." Gen. Harrison had about 3000 troops collected here, and Col. Richard M. Johnson, of famous memory, joined him here with about 300 mounted men. Col. Jennings, who commanded one of the regiments, had been detached to erect a fort intermediate between St. Marys and Defiance. This was built on the Auglaize, and called "Fort Jennings."
Gen. Harrison, 11th February, 1813, speaks of garrisoning the forts upon the waters of the Auglaize and St. Marys. He had his headquarters at St. Marys, and his block-house stood exactly where Chris. Buehler's brick dwelling-house now stands, just back of the banking house. The logs of this house were finally used by Capt. Elliott for fire-wood.
Capt. Collins, who commanded a company of riflemen from Butler County, cut and opened a wagon way along the old army trace from Loramie to St. Marys. This company was stationed here during the winter of 1813. He gives an amusing and characteristic account of the election of Richard M. Johnson, as colonel of his regiment. He says: "The troops were drawn up on parade in a solid column. There was a gentleman of good appearance in front, facing the column, engaged in delivering a speech to the soldiers. After Capt. Collins had taken a position where he could see and hear, he recognized in the orator, Richard M. Johnson, a lawyer, whom he had formerly seen in Kentucky, and who he understood was a member of Congress from that State. The regiment was about to elect a colonel, and he was a candidate for that office. In the course of his remarks he observed, if they should elect him as their commander, he would in all times of danger, take a position where he would be most likely to receive the first fire of the enemy. He literally and most gallantly afterwards redeemed this pledge at the battle of the Thames." He was elected. It was while at St. Marys that General Harrison received his commission as a Major General in the regular army of the United States; having before that term been acting under a commission from Gov. Scott, of Kentucky, of all his forces in the field. This company of Capt. Collins did good service in opening roads and making water-craft to transport supplies down the St. Marys River. While here Col. Johnson was ordered to destroy an Indian town on the north side of the wet prairie—now the Reservoir. This was what has since been called "Old Town," which was where Judge Holt's farm is now. This town belonged to the Shawnees, and was totally destroyed by him, and never reoccupied.
From St. Marys, Gen. Harrison, with the main body of his forces, moved over to the Auglaize, down to Fort Jennings, and afterwards to Defiance
On Sept. 30, 1813, the companies of Captains Roper, Clarke, and Bacon were ordered to elect a major and form a battalion, which should unite and form a regiment with the company of Johnson, and elect a colonel. Roper was elected major, and Johnson colonel, while Captain Arnold succeeded Johnson as major, and Lieutenant Ellison succeeded Arnold as captain. This regiment, now in command of Col. Richard M. Johnson, with the Ohio regiment of Col. Findley, formed a brigade which was placed in command of Brigadier-General Tupper, of Ohio. This brigade was to advance up the St. Josephs, toward Detroit; but about noon of the day on which the organization was effected, an express from Gen. Winchester brought intelligence of his encounter with Indians, and that near Detroit he found British troops, with artillery, acting in concert with the Indians. A few minutes later an express arrived from Gov. Meigs, with a letter from Gen. Kelso, who was in command of a detachment of Pennsylvania troops on Lake Erie. This letter stated that, on Sept. 16, 2000 Indians, with some regulars and militia, and two pieces of artillery, left Malden, to attack Ft. Wayne. On receipt of these despatches, orders were issued for a forced march, and three days' provisions; large quantities of ammunition and other necessaries were issued, so that, in three hours, the whole force at St. Marys was in motion to join Winchester, who was believed to have met the allied forces of Upper Canada. On October 1 a heavy rain fell, rendering the road heavy, and almost impassable. The horsemen held the flanks until the infantry halted for dinner, when the cavalry pushed to the front, and the same evening passed the camp of Col. Jennings. The rain continued all night, the weather was unseasonably cold, and the lack of tents rendered the position of the troops very uncomfortable. The footmen were halted at Ft. Jennings; but Gen. Harrison, on Oct. 2, met another express from General Winchester, with intelligence of the retreat of the enemy. On receipt of this message, the General ordered Col. Barbee to return with his regiment to St. Marys, and Col. Pogne to cut a road from Ft. Jennings to Defiance. This disappointment of the troops to meet the enemy, caused dissatisfaction; and even the General was displeased to find the first despatches of an exaggerated character. He however pushed on, and reached Winchester's camp the same evening. The troops came up the next morning, and advanced to the mouth of the Auglaize, where they went into camp. At Winchester's camp scarcity of supplies had produced suffering and discontent. To allay this, both Harrison and Hardin addressed the soldiers in very affecting terms. The former assured them that ample supplies lay at St. Marys, that a road was opening to that point, and that in the evening he expected a large quantity of provisions; and, in conclusion, he said, "If you, fellow-soldiers from Kentucky, so famed for patriotism, refuse to bear the hardships incident to war, and to defend the rights of your insulted country, where shall I look for men to go with me?"
These assurances and appeals restored harmony in the camp. Harrison now selected a site for a new fort on the Auglaize, close by the ruins of the old one. A fatigue party of 250 men was placed in command of Major Joseph Robb, who was detailed to cut timber for the new buildings. General Winchester now moved from the Miami, and encamped about a mile above the mouth of the Auglaize. General Harrison and Col. Johnson, with his original regiment, returned to St. Marys, when the companies of Johnson, Ward, and Ellison were honorably discharged on Oct. 7.
Col. Pogue's regiment had orders, after cutting the way to Defiance, to return to the Ottawa towns on the Auglaize, twelve miles from St. Marys, and there erect a fort. On Oct. 4, General Harrison ordered General Tupper to proceed with his mounted men the next morning down the Miami to the Rapids, or farther, if necessary, to disperse any bands of the enemy who were reported to be rioting on the corn of the settlers, who had fled to other settlements for safety. He was then to return by Defiance to St. Marys.
Accordingly, eight days' rations were issued, but Tupper feigned the need of more ammunition than he had received, and this General Winchester could not supply. In the morning the order was unheeded, and at noon a party of Indians appeared on the opposite bank of the river, and fired upon three men, one of whom they killed, and then fled. They were pursued by several different bands of the troops, one of which, with Capt. Young, overtook them, but finding them about fifty strong, fired upon them, and retreated to the camp. In the morning, Logan, with six other Indians, was sent out to reconnoitre, and Col. Simrall organized a strong party to renew the pursuit; hut at this time Winchester ordered Tupper to commence his expedition toward the Rapids, by a pursuit of these Indians. Again the General was not ready, as he was awaiting the return of the spies sent out in the morning to ascertain the trail of the enemy. These spies returned in the evening, and reported the Indians fifty in number, ten miles down the river. Again Tupper was urged to move; but again he was unwilling, and asserted his desire to go by the Ottawa towns instead of by Defiance. The same day the terms of about 300 mounted riflemen expired, and disgusted with the conduct of the General, they refused to remain in the service. Discontent now manifested itself, as the Kentuckians did not wish to move with Tupper, unless accompanied by some of Winchester's field officers.
Col. Allen Trimble then tendered his services, and was accepted; but the General proceeded by way of the Auglaize to the Ottawa towns, as he had desired. Here he professed to expect reinforcements. His troops were now disheartened, and all but 200 refused to move in the direction of the Rapids, and the command therefore retired to Urbana, where those troops who were obedient were honorably discharged. Tupper was ordered arrested by Harrison on charges preferred by Winchester, but when the officer went to make the arrest, he found Tupper had gone on an expedition of his own towards the Rapids; and as there was no officer in his brigade capable of succeeding him in command, it was deemed prudent to stay the proceedings for a time. Tupper afterward demanded a court of inquiry at Ft. Meigs, but as no competent witnesses were present, he had to be acquitted.
As Harrison was returning from Defiance to St. Marys, he was informed by a Ft. Wayne express that Indians were collecting at that place. On his arrival at St. Marys, he found a corps of 500 mounted volunteers who had come to join the expedition to Detroit. They were in command of Col. Allen Trimble, and were ordered to Ft. Wayne, with instructions to proceed from that post against the White Pigeon villages about sixty miles distant, on the St. Josephs. On his arrival at the fort, about half his men refused to go further; but with part of his force he proceeded, and destroyed two villages. The Indians who were sent from Ft. Wayne to bring in the Miami chiefs from the Mississinewa to council, were now at St. Marys, with a number of those chiefs.
They were ready to deny their hostility; but finding the General too well informed to be deceived, they begged the mercy of the government, and left five of their number, selected by General Harrison, to be held as hostages at Piqua, until the action of the President could be learned. The troops of Winchester were now employed several weeks in completing the new fort, which they named for the commander, and in making canoes along the Miami. The regiment of Col. Barbee completed the fort at St. Marys, and named it Fort Barbee. Col. Pogue, with his regiment, built the fort at the Ottawa towns, on the Auglaize, twelve miles from St. Marys, and named it Ft. Amanda, in honor of his wife. The regiment of Col. Jennings completed the fort, which the troops named for the Colonel. These regiments were at the same time employed in constructing boats and canoes, and in escorting provision trains between the posts. These were some of the exertions and movements made in our territory in preparation for the main expedition contemplated against Maiden.
The fort was situated near the west bank of the Auglaize River, with about an acre of land. The pickets were from ten to twelve feet high, and sunk two or three feet in the ground. There were four block-houses, one at each corner; the second story projected over the pickets three or four feet, and was pierced with port-holes, from which the soldiers could defend the fort in case of attack. The first story was occupied by soldiers and company officers as sleeping rooms. The blockhouse in the southeast corner was the largest, and used mainly as officers' quarters.
There was also a large cabin in the centre of the fort, which was used as a storehouse for supplies for the army, as the soldiers wintered all one winter, if not two, at this point. Again, the old fort was used as one of the first post-offices in Allen County, as well as the first place of preaching.
Fort Amanda served as an intermediate storehouse and point of concentration between St. Marys, Urbana, and Upper Sandusky on the one side, and Fort Wayne and Defiance on the other. Here a cemetery was established for the interment of the Nation's dead during the occupation of the fort. This cemetery was continued in use by the whites after the settlement, and is still a monument to that army. As conflicting reports are still current as to the number of soldiers here interred, an effort has been made to obtain information through all channels yielding a promise of data.
In this direction an application was made to the War Department through Hon. J. A. Garfield, with the result portrayed in the subjoined letter:—
War Department, Adjutant General's Office,
Washington, April 26, 1880.
Hon. J. A. Garfield, M.D.
House of Representatives
Sir: I have the honor to return herewith the letter of your correspondent, Mr. Sutton, referred to this office by your indorsement of the 19th instant, and to inform you that there is no record in this office of "Fort Amanda, Ohio," or its garrison.
The records of the "War of 1812" do not show the place of burial in any case, and nothing relating to the subject of Mr. Sutton's inquiry can be found in the records of this office, which for 1813 and 1814 are incomplete, having been partially destroyed by the British forces in 1814.
I have the honor to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
E. D. Townsend, Adjutant-General.
St. Marys thus became a source of supplies; but in Nov. the roads became so deep and heavy, that it was impossible to convey provisions. About Dec. 1, Major Bodley, quartermaster of the Kentucky troops, made an effort to transport 200 barrels of flour down the St. Marys, to the left wing below Defiance. About twenty perogues and canoes were laden, and placed under command of Capt. Jordon and Lieut. Cardwell, with about twenty men. In about a week they reached Shane's Crossing, having moved about 100 miles by water, while the distance by land was scarcely more than 20 miles. Here the freeze of one night left them ice-bound, and Lieut. Cardwell returned through ice and swamp to Fort Barbee, to report the situation. Major Bodley returned with him to the provisions and offered extra reward to those who would cut the ice, and push forward. This was tried, but proved impracticable, as two days' labor only advanced the boats about a mile. The project was now abandoned, and the boats left under guard. About the middle of the month a thaw occurred, which enabled them to reach near Fort Wayne, where they were again frozen in. The voyage was then abandoned, sleds constructed, and the flour transported to the fort by land. In the mean time much suffering had been occasioned to the array of General Winchester, as they were without flour from the "10th to the 22d."
Thus, until the concentration of the troops in the work, for the advance on Canada, a base line of supplies extended from St. Marys by the Auglaize to the Rapids, while the former place, under the protection of Fort Barbee, was an important storehouse during all the preliminary preparations for the march against Maiden.
The last commander of Fort Barbee was Captain John Whistler. He was a soldier from his youth, came to America with Burgoyne's army, and was taken prisoner at Saratoga. He remained in the United States after the war closed, entered the Western army under St. Clair, and survived the defeat of Nov. 1791, at which time he acted as sergeant. In 1793, an order came from the War Office, purporting that any non-commissioned officer who would raise twenty-five recruits would receive the commission of ensign. He succeeded in this way in obtaining the office, from which he rose to a captaincy, and commanded in succession Forts Barbee, Wayne, and Dearborn, at Chicago.
Nothing occurred within the limits of Auglaize County after the treaty of peace with Great Britain, which was made in 1815, until the making of the treaty with the Indians in 1818, at St. Marys. Gen. Cass and Gen. Mc Arthur were the commissioners upon the part of the United States. These negotiations commenced on the 17th of September, 1818, and continued until the 6th of October. The treaty ground extended from old Fort Barbee west on the north side of the west branch of the St. Marys River, up as far as where the cemetery now is. There was a large force of Indians present. The Shawnees, the most warlike and hostile, were numerous. Such famous chiefs as Tecumseh, Black Hoof, Logan, Blue Jacket, and Capt. Johnny belonged to this tribe. In the treaties by Wayne, in 1795 and 1818, the St. Marys River was a conspicuous feature, as a leading boundary line.
In the treaty of 1818 all the grants to Indians are called reservations. The Shawnees had their reservation around Wapakoneta, the Ottawas farther down the Auglaize. These Indians seemed to have a strong prepossession for locations upon the St. Marys River, partly on account of the excellent quality of the land, but chiefly on account of its being between the settlements of the whites and their chief town, on the Maumee, now Fort Wayne. They always selected the first lands, having reference to springs, water courses, and richness of soil. They all bounded on the St. Marys and Auglaize Rivers. This treaty of 1818 extinguished the Indian title to all the lands in Ohio except such as were reserved.
The following incident touching this occasion was related by Judge McCulloch:—
The Governors of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, with many leading citizens from these States and Kentucky, were present. Among the Indians was Kalositah, who was over six feet high, and weighed about 200 pounds. He was farther described by the Judge "as the most perfect specimen of physical manhood" he had "ever looked upon," and was confident he could out-jump or throw down any man in the Northwest. Pending the negotiations a grand hopping match occurred, and Kalositah distanced all competitors by clearing fifty feet at two hops and a jump. A match was then arranged with Tom Wilson, a noted wrestler, and the Indian. Kalositah offered to bet the Judge he could throw Wilson, and the Judge finally staked a silk necktie against a wrought silk belt worn by the Indian. The contestants took holds, and Kalositah allowed his antagonist to exert his utmost before himself taking the aggressive. Wilson employed every art and energy, but all in vain; the Indian appeared planted and could not be moved. At length Kalositah said, "Now me," and lifting Wilson, laid him upon the ground as he would a child. A second trial ended with the same result, and Wilson gave up the contest. Kalositah, thinking perhaps the contest was too easy, magnanimously returned the necktie to the Judge. Again, a stalwart negro from Kentucky was pitted against the Indian. This negro was believed able to throw almost any man he might meet. On this occasion the contest was sharp but decisive, for the "Now me" of the Indian was sooner heard, and was the same signal of his success. Stung to the quick, the negro arose in a passion, only to be again hurled to the ground. On rising the third time, he threatened to whip the Indian, but fighting was not allowed. It will not be considered amiss to relate another incident of the brave, although it occurred at West Liberty. In 1832 he wrestled with John Norris, a saddler of that town. The Indian probably came on a challenge from Norris, who appears to have possessed considerable conceit. If so, the latter made a grave mistake, for he is said to have been "no more a match for Kalositah than a poodle for a mastiff." The contest was scarcely worth the name, being brief and decisive. With his irresistible "grape-vine twist," Kalositah snapped a leg of his antagonist as if it had been a pipe-stem. The friends of Norris interposed, crying, "You have broken his leg, Kalositah; you have broken his leg." The imperturbable Indian only replied, "Leg must be rotten," and left Norris to be borne from the field.
The old Fort Barbee stood a little north of the old gravel pit, and in the southeast corner of the Lutheran Cemetery. One of the gate-posts was to be seen until late years. There was a block-house near. Old "Charley Murray," of whom we shall speak hereafter, had his cabin where the gravel pits are now. The boarding-house tents for the accommodation of the commissioners, their secretaries, agents, and officers, were put up along where the little brick house stands, south of Main Street. This boarding-house was built and kept by the Edsalls, who afterward removed to Shane's Prairie, and then to Fort Wayne. The Indians were encamped by tribes. The timber had all been cut off by the Indians who constituted Girty's Town. Afterwards it was cleared off during the occupation of the army of Harrison in the winter of 1812-13. This leads me to speak of those who were present. The Edsalls had lived at Fort Greenville, where they had kept boarding-house. Having knowledge of the approaching treaty, they came up from Greenville together with John Armstrong, afterwards judge Armstrong. He came June, 1818, about a month before the negotiations commenced. He built his cabin near the sand-bank of Squire Dowty's, and cleared a patch a little farther up the creek. These were the first white settlers in this part of the county except old Charley Murray, who was at the time of the treaty in jail in Troy, O., awaiting his trial for the murder of Thracker. Two sisters of Thracker lived in the old block-house. Murray had some grudge against him and waylaid him between the two crossings of Loramie, at a deep hollow, ever since known as Thracker's Run, and caused a hired man of his, one Meyers, to shoot him. Murray was afterwards tried at Troy, but was acquitted upon the plea that Meyers was simple minded and fired without his orders. He used to say, however, that "nothing went right with him afterwards." Murray, with William A. Houston, in 1820 entered a large amount of land here, and soon afterwards laid out the town plat of St. Marys.
When Murray came, is not now very certain. It has been stated that Girty, being afraid to stay so near the white settlements, sold out his interests and stock in trade to Murray in 1795, and went down to the Maumee.
Judge Burnet, in his Notes, p. 7O, says, "that the judges and lawyers who attended the General Court at Detroit, under the Territorial Government, took the route by Dayton, Piqua, Loramie's, St. Marys, and the Ottawa town on the Auglaize, and from thence down that river to Defiance; thence to the foot of the Rapids, and thence down the river Raisin to Detroit. But once they crossed the Maumee at Rock De Boeuff, and passed through a succession of wet prairies, and after two and a half days of incessant toil and difficulty they arrived at the Ottawa village. To their great mortification and disappointment, they were informed that 'Blue Jacket' had returned from Cincinnati a day or two ago with a large quantity of whiskey, and that his people were in a high frolic. They could not remain in the village, and had a wet, swampy path of twelve miles to pass over to the St. Marys, through a valley swarming with gnats and mosquitos. They started. Night overtook them in the middle of the swamp; there was no moon, and the forest very dense; they could not keep the path, nor see to avoid the quagmires on every side. After remaining in that uncomfortable condition five or six hours, expecting every moment that their horses would break away, daylight made its appearance. About sunrise they arrived at the old Fort St. Marys at the crossing of St. Marys, then occupied by Charles Murray and his squad, where they got breakfast, and proceeded on their way to Cincinnati."
Nothing more is known of Murray until he is found at St. Marys, in 1818.
* Written by the French "Au Glaize," and signifying glassy water.
† Burnet's Notes, page 383.
From "History of Auglaize County, Ohio, with the Indian History of Wapakoneta, and the First Settlement of the County", Robert Sutton, Publishers, Wapakoneta, 1880